Your Brain on a Boat: Research Says Boating Improves Creativity, Emotional Health, Relaxation

I could not resist sharing this article.  So many find being on and around the water peaceful (me included) and a great reset to the hectic lives we all live.  If you don’t have a boat and want to se the positive effects of sailing, please join us  Summer Sailing with Mainstay

Recent research shows people experience emotional, behavioural and psychological benefits of being near, in, on or under water, and while participating in activities such as boating. One of the leading researchers on the health benefits of the water is Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D, a marine biologist and author of Blue Mind, the bestselling book on the scientific connection between water and happiness.


Demand for EI sickness benefits rising

EI sick benefits are the one benefit that most of our clients rely on to support employees in the period before Long Term Disability (LTD) begins.  This is an area that the government has not materially changed in almost 50 years and we see no indication that they are looking at making changes.  Few employers having formal salary continuance programs or insured Short Term Disability (STD) coverage, so this is an area where any change could have a real effect on employers.  We’ll continue to monitor the area for changes, as the usage (and government costs increase)…

More and more Canadians are applying for federal help as they take time away from work to battle serious illness — and almost four out of every 10 applicants are maxing out their benefits.


Ontario government to become second payer under OHIP+ changes

Over the weekend we had a very big announcement that may affect not just those in Ontario, but possibly the future of federal pharmacare as well.

The change to add OHIP+ , for youth under 25, were just implemented in January and was expected to result in about a 3-4% average savings for most group plans that had youth under 25 on their plans as drug claims would now be picked up by the province.

Now the new Ontario government has stated they will make OHIP+ the second payer after private plans.  This change means those costs will now revert back to the employers as they had in the past (prior to the January implementation).

Ontario’s new Conservative government has announced changes to the province’s youth pharmacare program to make it second payer for Ontarian’s under age 25 who have coverage through private benefits plans.


Personal Emergency Leave – Your Questions Answered

We have been getting questions from employers on the Personal Emergency Leave days in Ontario.  We try and help point to reference material that can help, and some of those questions are answered in this posting from a Toronto employment lawyer.

Due to…popular demand for more information about Personal Emergency Leave (“PEL”), we have answered the most pressing questions from participants in this update.

Notably, because the changes to PEL are so new, there is very little case law regarding their application. As always, the summary below is not legal advice. Employers should seek legal advice if they are unsure about how the legislation applies to their circumstances.


Webinar: A primer on cannabis legalization and benefits plans

This is a 45 minute previously recorded webinar that provides information for employee benefit plan sponsors on the legal perspective, past cases etc. related to Cannabis which will be legalized in mid October this year.

With the federal government having passed legislation to legalize the possession of recreational marijuana, employers have lots of questions about what it means for them. Watch Benefits Canada’s recent webinar on some of the legal issues for benefits plans with Miller Thomson LLP’s Kim Ozubko.


Canadian employers concerned about implications of cannabis legalization

If you thought you were alone in being concerned about the upcoming changes… A recent survey shows you are far from alone.

Our last industry seminar touched on the importance of corporate policies on impairment and we have one linked below that was hared with us.

The Mainstay HR Resources available to all our clients can also provide info to assist you in establishing practices and policies to protect your employees and firm.

Take a peek.  Call us for details…

More than half (52 per cent) of Canadian employers said they’re concerned or very concerned about the implications of legalized marijuana on the workplace, according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada.



Each year Sanofi Canada surveys the thoughts and perceptions of both employees and employers across Canada on healthcare and benefit plans in particular.  The survey represents all size businesses, but responses are best from larger organizations so skew that way slightly.  A panel of large employers, consultants, insurers and brokers come together to analyze the results, discuss next steps and provide comments for the report linked below.

Have a read, but take it all with a grain of salt, as smaller firms and their employees often see results contrary to the larger, public and union plans that are also capture here.  Each year I always learn get some interesting insights working with the advisory panel.  I hope the report is useful to you too.

The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey has proven to be a valuable tool for health benefit administrators making decisions about the kind of health coverage their plans will provide.

Since 1998, our healthcare survey has monitored the pulse of Canadians with employer-sponsored health benefit plans. We continue to track respondents’ overall satisfaction with the healthcare system as a whole and their own benefit plan, their concerns about their health and the health of their families, and their understanding of certain chronic illnesses.


The Legalization Of Cannabis: 7 Reasons Why Employers Should Take Notice

A short article to help employers learn a bit more about this topical and highly contentious area of legislative change.

We’ll be covering some of this at my next seminar.  if you are a mainstay client, and would like to attend, please let me know ASAP and I’ll register you at my expense.

Cannabis legalization is coming. The legislation is expected to pass by July with legalization becoming effective by September.  Employers should take notice because:

1. There is already a lot of cannabis in Canada

2. More cannabis to come with legalization

3. Cannabis is addictive

4. Cannabis impairs

5. Operating a motor vehicle – risky

6. The problem of residual impairment – hours to days to weeks

7. Occupational health and safety legislation – the risk to the workplace and to employers


Taxing health benefits would ‘dramatically’ raise health-care costs: CLHIA

Well, I thought I’d seen it all in this business.  Provincially we’ve had promises of free drugs, healthcare, dental, and combinations of all three.  Now Federally 9the one really looking at pharmacare seem to be investigating the possibility of taxing health benefits to employee again.  I’m not sure if the goal is to drive employers out of Ontario or Canada, but it sure seems like it some days.  Let’s just concentrate on the nice weather instead!

While a new report shows that introducing a tax on employer-paid health benefits would add $3.8 billion to the federal government’s coffers in the 2018 tax year, it would also dramatically raise health-care costs for many Canadians…